Cyber intelligence comes in a variety of forms and from many places and sources. For years intelligence organizations look at routine communications by organizations they target to gain insight from the communications that the targeted group or organization has with its members.

For a while now intelligence organizations have been monitoring an online magazine known as Inspire which is said to be produced by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

In a recent release of that publication it appears that the terrorist organization is calling on its members and supporters to use wildfires as a weapon against the United States.

In a recent terror threat advisory a number of U.S. intelligence and security organizations warn that terrorist organizations have demonstrated a keen interest in using fire as a tactic against the U.S. as a mechanism to create economic loss, fear, resource depletion, and humanitarian hardship.

When you view the current drought monitor you can certainly understand the rationale behind the use of this tactic.

Examining the stats released for day 7 of the Colorado High Park Wildfire near Fort Collins you can see why they are interested.

  • Size: 52,068 acres
  • Containment: 20%
  • Destruction: 112 homes destroyed
  • Fatalities: 1 dead
  • Cost: current cost of the fire is estimated at $7.2 million

Now add the fact that equipment and materials needed to ignite a wildfire and use it as a weapon are very common and easily obtainable and the fact it is highly unlikely the terrorist would be discovered setting the fire, and you can see attractiveness of using wildfires as a terrorist tactic.